Whenever you are contemplating taking any sort of supplement it is always a good idea to do some research into exactly what it is you are ingesting into your body. Ideally you should understand the benefits and possible harmful affects so that you can make a reasonable decision about whether or not it is really worthwhile for you and your personal goals.
Taking something like nitric oxide supplements falls into that category. You can’t always just what the manufacturer put on the label because they are trying to sell products. Before we delve into the benefits of nitric oxide supplements lets back up to a quick overview of what nitric oxide actually is.
Nitric Oxide Basics
Nitric oxide is also known as nitrogen monoxide and is found in the body at the cellular level. From a broad based perspective it is used in numerous processes in the body. It is a signal transmitter between cells in the body and has been shown to help relax the walls of blood vessels to increase blood flow and lower blood pressure.
It has been used in the form of nitroglycerine to help with heart issues by helping with the blood flow into the heart. It also helps with men and creating erections by helping dilating certain blood vessels and is the basis for how Viagra works.
Benefits of Nitric Oxide Supplements
So based on the general purpose of this chemical within the body it would seem from a bodybuilding or fitness aspect the benefits would be:
- Delivery of Oxygen
- Increased Energy
- Reduced Fatigue
- More Endurance
Nitric oxide itself is created when the amino acid L-arginine is converted by the enzyme nitric oxide synthase. So any supplement that you are taking really needs to contain L-arginine. If you are already taking in L-arginine in other supplements then specific Nitric Oxide supplements could be seen as overkill. In this case we are taking it as a pre-workout supplement to gain these specific effects. Also many good Nitric Oxide supplements also have additional compounds in them such as ginseng or L-carnosine.
L-arginine can increase the anaerobic level – this is the point when lactic acid accumulates in the muscles which leads to the burning sensation in muscles which makes many of us quit. So this supplement would allow endurance athletes to workout longer. It will also ramp of the blood flow throughout your body. While this won’t result in massive muscle pumps without actually working out, increased blood flow is beneficial to energy levels and working out.
Another consideration is the additions in some NO supplements such as ginseng can help increase your energy levels and stamina. L-carnosine is an anti-oxidant that helps reduce damage to cells. Overall these combined items provide a lot of great pre-workout benefits.
Concerns with L-arginine
Generally speaking having the proper amount of amino acids available is a good thing. However you can still overdose on them. In the case of L-arginine an excess can lead to headaches, diarrhea, and nausea. So make sure you do monitor your overall level taken in a day and tread carefully above 6 grams until you have determined your personal threshold.
The Bottom Line
While this supplement doesn’t seem to create any massive muscle pump of size gain, they will definitely provide an energy boost to your system by increasing the blood flow to your muscles and organs as well as increase in energy. For the short term that can help with pushing harder during weightlifting and other explosive activities. But make sure you read the label of different brands so you can ensure what compounds are in the supplement if you want to get the results you are expecting.